Home Read Classic Album Review: Patti Smith | Land (1975 – 2002)

Classic Album Review: Patti Smith | Land (1975 – 2002)

This single-disc anthology can't really do justice to the punk poet's lengthy career.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


How can you sum up a career like Patti Smith’s on one CD? Well, quite simply, you can’t.

Which is not to say that the retrospective Land doesn’t come close, pulling together 16 essential songs from Smith’s eight studio albums. Trouble is, for every crucial cut included (like Gloria, Because the Night and Rock N Roll N****r), there’s a crucial cut missed (like Ask The Angels, Redondo Beach and Radio Ethiopia). And while the new version of Prince’s When Doves Cry is cool, this best-of should have been two discs at least. Not that I’m complaining about the second disc that comes with Land. It’s a swell set of rarities, featuring demos of stuff like Distant Fingers and live versions of 25th Floor, Dead City and Birdland. That, along with the artsy packaging and booklet, are more than enough to make Land a great compilation — even if it’s not quite as great as it could be.